Items like steel-toe boots and hard hats are some of the well-known items that promote safety for workers on construction job sites, but have you heard of these three items? Here is a small list providing you with information about how other forms of equipment can help create a safer environment for construction site workers. It is very tricky to try and assess all the risks to safety on job sites, as there are different factors to weigh on every site. With that in mind, it is all the more important to make sure equipment meets or even exceeds the safety standards and regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, called OSHA.
#1. Web Slings
Web slings are often made of strong synthetic materials such as nylon or polymers that are suited for various rigging applications. Web slings help with construction site safety because each new sling comes with rating information that indicates the rated load the web sling has for each type of hitch, at various angles. This eliminates the guess-work for foremen and site overseers. One tip for working with web slings is to make sure the slings are kept away from sharp corners or edges of material by using protection such as padding. This helps ensure that the web slings will not be damaged or weakened.
#2. Wire Rope Thimbles
First developed in the 1830s for use in mining hoists, wire ropes are used often as components of lifting gear by cranes on construction sites. Wire rope thimbles are a safety product that helps the loop at the end of a wire rope from being crushed, securing the “eye” of the loop. While they may seem like a minor product, wire rope thimbles promote safer construction sites because they bolster the strength and reduce the wear and tear on the eye of the wire rope. This reduces the chance of product malfunction that could be dangerous or costly to those involved. It is important to note that break strength is not listed on wire rope thimbles as their load capacity is dependent on the direction of the pressure. Instead, strength is often denoted by: “regular duty,” “heavy duty,” and “extra heavy duty.”
#3. Crosby Forged Shackles
Crosby forged shackles are used for industrial rigging applications to make strong and sturdy connections. Shackles refer to any U-shaped piece of metal that is secured by a pin or nut and bolt. They can either be manufactured by casting or forging. Forging helps safety on industrial and construction sites because the forging process ensures that the entire surface is consistent in density and grade of steel. Essentially, there are no weak points on the shackle where it would be more likely to break, so the overall product is much more reliable–leading to less instances of shackles breaking on the job. Forged shackles are the only form of shackle that is rated with a load capacity and therefore is the only type of shackle that should be used for lifting purposes.